How to Plot Two Things on the Same Y Axis in Excel: A Step-by-Step Guide

Got some data you’re itching to compare on a single chart in Excel? Plotting two different things on the same y-axis might sound tricky, but it’s actually a piece of cake. Just follow these simple steps, and you’ll have your data displayed in a way that’s easy to analyze and interpret.

Step by Step Tutorial on How to Plot Two Things on the Same Y Axis in Excel

Before diving into the step-by-step process, let’s understand what we’re trying to achieve here. The goal is to have two sets of data, each with its own type of chart (like a line and a bar chart), sharing the same y-axis on the same Excel chart. This method helps to visually compare the two, even if they’re on different scales.

Step 1: Enter your data

Enter your data into two columns.

After you’ve entered your data, ensure that it’s correctly formatted. The data should be in two separate columns, with the x-axis values (like dates or categories) in the first column and the y-axis values in adjacent columns.

Step 2: Highlight your data

Highlight both sets of data.

Make sure to include the headers if you have them, as this will help Excel understand how to label the different data sets in the chart.

Step 3: Insert a chart

Go to the ‘Insert’ tab and click on ‘Insert Combo Chart’.

Excel offers a variety of charts, but the “Combo” option is what allows us to plot two different types of charts on the same y-axis.

Step 4: Customize the chart

Customize your chart by selecting the data series and choosing the chart type for each.

In the ‘Change Chart Type’ dialog box that appears, you can assign different chart types to each data series. For example, you might want one set of data to be displayed as a line and the other as a column.

Step 5: Adjust the y-axis

Adjust the y-axis scale if necessary to ensure both data sets are visible.

If one set of data has much larger or smaller values than the other, you might need to tweak the axis scale. You can do this by right-clicking on the y-axis and selecting ‘Format Axis’.

After completing these steps, you’ll have a chart that shows two different data types on the same y-axis, making it easier to see how they correlate or differ.

Tips for Plotting Two Things on the Same Y Axis in Excel

  • Make sure your data is clean and organized before you begin.
  • Use contrasting chart types (like a line and a bar chart) for better visual separation.
  • Customize the chart design and colors for clarity and visual appeal.
  • Use the ‘Format Axis’ option to fine-tune the scale for better comparison.
  • Add labels and a legend to make your chart easy to understand.

Frequently Asked Questions

What types of data can I compare using this method?

You can compare any two sets of data that share a common x-axis, such as time-series data or different categories.

Can I add more than two sets of data to the same y-axis?

Yes, you can add multiple data sets, but keep in mind that the chart may become cluttered and difficult to read.

How do I change the chart type for one of the data sets?

Right-click on the data series within the chart and select ‘Change Series Chart Type’ to choose a different chart type.

What if one data set’s values are much higher than the other’s?

You can use the ‘Format Axis’ option to adjust the scale, or consider using a secondary y-axis for the larger data set.

Can I save this chart type to use again later?

Yes, once you’ve customized your chart, you can save it as a template to use again with different data sets.


  1. Enter your data into two columns.
  2. Highlight both sets of data.
  3. Insert a ‘Combo’ chart.
  4. Customize the chart types for each data series.
  5. Adjust the y-axis scale if necessary.


Putting two things on the same y-axis in Excel is an effective way to compare different data sets. By following the steps outlined in this article, you’ll be able to create a combo chart that clearly displays your data in a cohesive, easy-to-understand format. Remember to keep your chart clean and not overcrowd it with too many data sets.

A well-constructed chart can be a powerful tool for data analysis, presentation, or just getting a clearer picture of the numbers you’re working with. So go ahead, give it a try, and watch your data come to life on a single, comprehensive chart.

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